What Is Inside Corn Palace?

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The Corn Palace

We’ve seen our fair share of unique places all across the country. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop at the Corn Palace during our adventures. 

We keep a growing list of places we plan to explore during future adventures, and the Corn Palace is on that list. So what’s inside this royal building, and why do we want to visit it? We’ll explain!

What Is the Corn Palace?

The Corn Palace is a historic building located in Mitchell, South Dakota. It serves as a venue for community events and is a popular tourist attraction. Many people remember it for its unique design and exterior decorations.

Each year the building gets a new theme and motifs made from corn and other grains. Visitors from all over the world flock to appreciate the work of art. Not every day can you experience a massive piece of art made from grains.

About the Corn Palace

The Corn Palace was built in 1892 to showcase the region’s agricultural abundance and attract settlers. The building has undergone several renovations, most recently in 2015.

The murals on the building’s exterior are made from different colors and varieties of corn, along with other grains and grasses. 

As we mentioned, these unique designs attract tourists from all over the world to Mitchell. The city estimates that more than half a million people come to experience the palace each year.

The building also houses a museum that exhibits the Corn Palace’s history and the region’s agricultural heritage. In addition to being a popular tourist destination, it also hosts various community events.

What Is Inside the Corn Palace?

The inside of the palace features a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs, local foods, and crafts.

In addition, the building is also home to the World’s Only Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo. This popular event takes place each year during the last week of July. 

The royal building also houses a museum that exhibits the building’s history and the importance of the agriculture industry in the area. The palace hosts concerts, festivals, and sporting events. 

The Mitchell High School Kernels and the Dakota Wesleyan University Tigers play home basketball games here as well.

The Corn Palace

Is the Corn Palace Really Made Out of Corn?

While it would be cool to experience, the Corn Palace is not made of corn. It gets its name and reputation for the murals that decorate the exterior of the building. 

Artists use 12 different colors of corn to create impressive murals. These corny (pun intended) pieces of artwork change each year and revolve around a theme.

Visit Mitchell in September to watch artists construct the murals. The old murals come down at the end of August, and artists quickly work to replace them. 

They’re generally in place at the start of October. However, as the growing season can be unpredictable, delays can and do occur occasionally. In 2019, the murals went unfinished because of an unusually wet season.

How Long Does It Take to Go Through the Corn Palace?

Experiencing the palace typically takes 30 to 60 minutes. Many visitors spend most of their time outside looking at the detailed murals and taking photos of them. However, you can arrange a tour to learn about the unique facility and its rich history.

It remains open year-round but does make seasonal adjustments to its operating schedule. Check the schedule and plan your trip accordingly. 

However, the best time of year to visit is during the Corn Palace Festival, which typically takes place in August.

Things to Do at the Corn Palace

There’s a reason why half a million visitors come each year. Let’s look at some things you can do when visiting this unique tourist attraction.

Shop at the Farmer’s Market

Starting in June, the Corn Palace hosts the annual Palace City Farmers Market. It occurs each Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Visitors can shop for home-cooked, homemade, and hand-crafted items from local artisans. In addition, there is often entertainment, special guests, and free programs for all ages to enjoy.

This is a great way to experience the community of Mitchell and interact with locals. However, be aware that the weather in this area can be unpredictable, and the market will shut down for severe weather.

Keep in Mind: Many RVers pick South Dakota as their domicile state, but are your voting rights at risk here as a Full-Time RVer?

The Farmers Market near the Corn Palace

Attend a Special Event

As we’ve mentioned, you can find more than corn at the Corn Palace. It also has one of the nicest gyms in this part of the country, which hosts Mitchell High School’s boys’ and girls’ basketball programs. In addition, the palace is also home to the Dakota Wesleyan University Tigers team.

However, while basketball may be popular at this facility, it’s not the only event they host. It also often hosts cheer and dance competitions, concerts, and many more, including a festival dedicated to eating chicken wings. You never know what will be taking place here!

Take Pictures of the Frequently Changing Exterior Murals

One of the most common things at the Corn Palace is photographing the murals. You can find thousands of pictures of #cornpalace

Since the murals change each year, it’s a great way to document them from year to year. Who knows, maybe you’ll make this an annual tradition to see what Mitchell’s artists have created.

Take a Tour of the Corn Palace

The Corn Palace offers free public tours from Memorial Day until August. However, if your travel plans bring you to the area outside of this window, you can contact their Tourism Division to schedule a tour. 

Tours provide a knowledgeable guide who will show you around and share interesting information about the facility’s history. This is one of the best ways to experience the palace.

Keep in Mind: South Dakota has tons to explore! Here’s How to Plan an RV Trip to South Dakota

Is the Corn Palace Worth Visiting?

We enjoy finding unique places like the Corn Palace to visit. There’s something different about experiencing these non-traditional tourist locations. They showcase the ingenuity of the locals to showcase their community in a way that attracts attention from visitors. 

People are willing to drive out of their way and plan their trips to experience this unique building. If you’re passing through South Dakota, build some time into your schedule to make a quick stop at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

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